Randolph Police Department Reminds Residents that Use of Fireworks is Illegal in Massachusetts

As the Fourth of July and summer celebrations approach, Chief William Pace and the Randolph Police Department would like to remind residents that the use of fireworks is illegal in Massachusetts. 

It is illegal to use, possess or sell fireworks of any kind in Massachusetts, including Class C fireworks, which are sometimes falsely called “safe and sane fireworks.” Class C fireworks include sparklers, party poppers, snappers, firecrackers, spinners, cherry bombs and more. Additionally, residents are prohibited from purchasing fireworks elsewhere and transporting them into the state.

The Randolph Police Department will be adding special patrols over the coming weeks to respond to late night illegal fireworks activity in the town. Residents can make fireworks complaints at 781-963-1212. Residents should not wait to call or reach out on social media.

From 2010-2019, 858 major fires and explosions were reported to the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System (MFIRS) due to the use of illegal fireworks. These incidents caused 12 civilian injuries, 40 firefighter injuries and a loss of approximately $2.9 million.

The Randolph Police Department recommends that residents only attend displays put on by a licensed professional to ensure safety.

“While fireworks displays are a fun and entertaining way to spend your time outdoors during the summer, they often pose serious risks when not handled properly,” said Chief Pace. “Only licensed professionals should handle fireworks. Any fireworks, including sparklers, fire crackers and cherry bombs, can not be used by residents in Massachusetts.”

Residents should always: 

  • Watch fireworks displays from a safe distance.
  • Call 911 if anyone gets injured by fireworks.
  • Set a positive example for children by not using illegal fireworks. If kids see adults using them, they may not realize the dangers and could be encouraged to pick up matches or lighters.
  • Be careful around even the smallest fireworks. Sparklers burn at 1,800 degrees and could easily cause severe burns and injuries.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the misuse of fireworks can cause death and injuries including severe burns, contusions, lacerations, eye injuries and more. 

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Randolph Police Department Reminds Residents of Upcoming Hands-Free Law for Drivers

RANDOLPH — Chief William Pace and the Randolph Police Department would like to remind residents of the upcoming hands-free law for drivers.

On Feb. 23, An Act Requiring the Hands-Free Use of Mobile Telephones While Driving will go into effect prohibiting drivers from using cellphones and other hand-held devices while operating a vehicle. There will be a grace period through March 31 in which drivers will get a warning for their first violation rather than a fine.

The law states that no motor vehicle operator may use electronic devices while driving unless the technology is being used hands-free. Operators found to be texting, dialing phone numbers or using a phone with their hands in any capacity while driving will be fined.

Operators are permitted to use hands-free technology including Bluetooth, “single tap or swipe” to activate or deactivate hands-free mode, navigation technology mounted to the car’s dash and phone use in emergency situations. Drivers may use their phones if they are stationary and not in an active traffic lane.

The penalty for drivers who are found guilty of violating the hands-free law is a $100 fine for a first offense, a $250 fine for a second offense and a $500 fine for a third or subsequent offense. Operators who commit a second or subsequent offense are also required to complete an educational program focused on distracted driving prevention. A third or subsequent violation will count as a surchargeable incident which can affect the driver’s insurance rates.

The act also includes a requirement that law enforcement agencies report data on violations. The data collected by law enforcement will be available to the public.

The law does not apply to first responders who are on duty and driving emergency service vehicles.

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